Why You Need a Personal User Manual

personal user manualDo you have a Personal User Manual?

You need one.

What? I’m not some piece of IKEA furniture or a kid or pet being left with a sitter.

Of course not.

You’re a human being who interacts with others in order to accomplish important work in a world of rapid, unpredictable change and uncertainty.

Someone who needs clarity to make wise decisions that support what success in the world looks like for you.

You Need a Personal User Manual

Successful, forward-thinking CEOs write and share their User Manuals with direct reports to help them get up to speed more quickly and effectively.

New York Times columnist Adam Bryant writes (https://www NULL.inc NULL.com/the-build-network/to-make-your-management-style-clear-create-a-users-manual NULL.html) about two such CEOs, TravelPod founder Luc Levesque and QuestBack strategist Ivar Kroghrud, who worked with The Build Network to craft a set of seven questions designed to pattern “clear, tactical guidelines for the care and feeding of your CEO.”

BlueCloud CEO David Politis (https://www NULL.linkedin NULL.com/pulse/how-you-revolutionize-way-your-team-works-together-all-david-politis/?trackingId=zhr32he2fGw9gEF%2Fam7Z8w%3D%3D) was so convinced of the value of CEO’s User Manuals after writing his during a workshop with Bryant, he went back and had everyone in his company write theirs and post them in a shared file.

Their buy-in, he writes, was “effortless.”

But I’m not a CEO, why do I need a Personal User Manual.

Because every day you interact with others in order to accomplish things in a world of rapid, unpredictable change and uncertainty.

Let’s call that being part of a team, whether it’s a formal team at work tasked with restructuring a business or a family team at home planning and executing a vacation.

Since there are more interactions among team members than between an individual member and the CEO, Polities believes user manuals are a great tool to help teams get up to speed and work with one another more quickly and effectively, too.

I agree.

But, wait, there’s more.

As a coach who works with groups in the workplace as well as individuals seeking career and life strategies, a slight shift in my lens allows me to see a value in Personal User Manuals that other writers missed.

A Powerful Clarity Tool

The self-reflection that precedes the writing may well be the most powerful part of the Personal User Manual process.

That’s why you shouldn’t just write a Personal User Manual; you should hire me to help you.

To make the process even more powerful, I help clients integrate their VIA Character Strengths (natural ways of being in the world) and StrengthsFinder 2.0 results (preferred ways of doing in the world) with questions similar to those outlined by Bryant and Politis.

Through this process, my clients gain deep insights about themselves, a common language with which to share them, and an aligned Personal User Manual that serves as a conversation starter with anyone who becomes part of their team – at work, at home, in their communities – with whom they pursue good work in the world.

So, you see, you do need a Personal User Manual.

Let’s get started.

Ready to create your Personal User Manual? Whether you want the clarity that comes from writing your own or want to help an employee or team become more effective by writing and sharing theirs, I can help. Let’s connect. 


image: unsplash; used with permission

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